Gemstone Team BREATHE

Recipient:

Team BREATHE

Amount:

$5,000

Team BREATHE is an undergraduate team of eight students are investigating the potential of bio-walls to filter volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from indoor air. Phase one of the team’s research will look at  the presence of microbial communities on the roots of plants on the bio-wall. A particular genus of bacteria, Hyphomicrobium, has been found to increase in concentration when exposed to VOCs, indicating the ability to biologically filter the VOCs. The second phase will involve redesigning a passive bio-wall system to improve its air filtration abilities. Ultimately, the team hopes to find a new way to improve indoor air quality in an environmentally-sound way.